Sixteen seconds, Swamis Beach

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Adelle Rhoda Roberts, Sobel Roberts, Norman Roberts, Martin Roberts

When I went back to visit my mother last year I grabbed a box of family pictures. For some reason I got the job of family archivist and erstwhile historian. No one else wanted it. My mom is still alive but it is apparently getting near the end of the road for her. She lived a remarkable life that would be hard to believe if you were not a witness.

I wanted to put some pictures of her and her family up. Started scanning this afternoon. Will fill in the blanks later.

Marvin and Sobel with my mother's uncle Sam and his wife Bess as well as their child Isabelle who eventually committed suicide as did my grandfather.

Mom was born in Whittier but moved to Western Avenue in Los Angeles at the age of about seven. You can barely see El Cholo's sign in the background. I never met my grandmother or grandfather. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage before I was born.
Her parents came from Moldova in the 1920's. They had a very hard life and had to sign a note promising to never come back in order to leave the country. Her father was a furrier and supposedly a union strong arm man. It is hard to separate fact and fiction with my mother but that is a story for another day as well.

Mom, the UCLA theater arts major.
Mom, Norman and their father. There was a mysterious older brother, who died early, apparently falling out of a window in New York.

Adelle and big brother Norman

It was hard in those days to be the first generation child of immigrants, especially jewish immigrants. There is a huge push to assimilate in this country and she did, constructing a past out of whole cloth, a fictional history that took her own children years to unravel.

I assume that this is Los Angeles High School Fairfax High.

Mom with her uncle.

Mom and fourth or fifth husband Murray, a prince, and friend Terry. NYC

Family members always had a good head of hair.


Anonymous said...

Adelle was born on a kitchen table in her home--our mother was unwilling to be away from me for a stay in the hospital--and I know we never lived in Whittier; back then Jews were subject to restrictive covenants which would not allow us to live in an evangelical town like Whittier.

I sign this with wish that our lives were as full as Adelle's. NORM

Ken Seals said...

I can understand your trip through the past with these scans and thoughts about your family. Nice job!

Bob said...

Adelle's brother, Norman Lewis Roberts, died early on the morning of June 3, 2015, at age 86. He lived a long life, had a mercifully brief illness at the end, and all of his children were present at the end. I am a stepson but he's my dad. He was a sage counselor when I needed his help, a valued friend when I didn't, and I am forever indebted to him for the 23 wonderful years that my mother enjoyed with him before her death.

Bob Kramer, Seattle

Blue Heron said...

Bob, if I never answered this I certainly should have. Norman was a great uncle to me and a regular contributor to the blog. I appreciated his support and miss him very much.

Bob said...

Wow, I don't recall posting that comment right after his death.

I miss him, too. He was my go-to counselor, and even in retirement I find that now and again I could use one of those.

Your cousin Deborah - Debbie - sold the Granada Hills house that Norm left her, and moved to Key Largo right after the hurricane. No comment.

Your other cousin, Susan, also lives in Florida, in West Palm Beach. She fell on the beach and fractured a humerus in August, but has healed up. We hope to see her and her husband, Daniel, on a joint pleasure trip to Memphis early next year.

Thanks for reaching out.